The first week of the month is dedicated to drawing and for February we try our hand using charcoal. Below I have listed the types of charcoal and other equipment that is useful for charcoal drawing
What type of effects can you get? Charcoal gives real atmosphere to a drawing, it can be smudged (hard not to!) blended and applied carefully it can give drama to your drawings.
What type of equipment do you need? There are 2 types of charcoal; Willow and Compressed. Willow comes usually in a box in thin sticks, it breaks easily into tiny bits. I sometime put masking tape around it to hold, not essential but can help with breakage. You can buy it in different widths this is useful as you can then use it in a variety of ways (which we will be doing in class)
Compressed charcoal; usually comes in a box of white, grey to black. This looks much more like a pastel stick and has a binder to keep it all together. I like these if I want to add lights to a willow charcoal drawing. Not so crumbly and needs a bit more pushing about.
Surface? Smooth cartridge paper works well but so does light coloured pastel paper with a tooth. You can also use brown wrapping paper, you will get some grain showing through.
Other tools? A small paintbrush, a rubber and/or putty rubber, damp cloth for your hands. Masking tape to tape paper to board
For our drawing class in February we are drawing a cafe scene using charcoal. Do bring a larger piece of paper and board if you want to draw on a bigger scale - not compulsory!